My Hands are Full

“My oh my, you’ve got your hands full.”

It’s the thing I’m told most often when I’m out at the grocery store, the pediatrician’s office, on a walk through the neighborhood.

And they’re right. My hands are full.

Twins may be twice the babies, but it often feels like three times the work.

We have two times the diaper changes, two times the bottles to clean, two times the laundry to do, two times the baths at night, two times the doctor’s appointments, two times the night feedings and night wakings, two times the screaming crying.

My hands are full.

We have two times the milestones, which means two times the grumpy growth spurts, two times longer for sleep regressions, two times the sleep training, two times the crawlers and walkers in two different directions.

My hands are full.

It’s learning two very different babies at the same time. It’s learning their position preferences when eating. It’s learning their favorite toys and their favorite speeds on the swing. It’s learning whether they prefer being rocked or bounced to sleep. It’s learning where each baby is developmentally and then meeting them where they are. It’s knowing when one is ready to move on to new things and when the other needs to stay where they are.

My hands are full.

As much I want to have them on the same schedule, I will say time and time again, they are two different babies. One likes shorter naps and shorter wake windows. The other likes long naps and long wake windows. One is a snacker. The other takes big meals. It’s having to keep my notes open on my phone to record when they woke up, when they ate, when they went back to sleep, how long they nursed and how much they ate. It’s remembering that the one that woke up first needs to go down for the next nap first. It’s remembering and recording who got what dose of Tylenol for their teething.

My brain is as full, if not fuller, than my hands. My mind feels like it’s functioning at a higher rate than I’ve ever known, while simultaneously feeling foggy and like it doesn’t work at all.

I’m in the thick of it. In this chaos it’s easy to look at the things that are hard, the things that are messy. It’s easy to wonder why God gave me twins as a new mom and not as a seasoned veteran. It’s easy to feel defeated as soon as I wake up in the mornings until my head hits the pillow at night.

It’s hard. It’s really hard to have my hands this full.

But hard is not the same thing as bad.

Because twins may be twice the babies, but it often feels like three times the reward.

We have two times the cheeks to kiss, two times the thighs to pinch, two times the sleepy snuggles, two times the squeals of laughter, two times the splashes at bath time, two times the hands to hold, two times the babies to love.

My hands are full.

We have two times the milestones, which means two times the moments of pride when something new is accomplished. Two times the bitter sweet tears when onesies are outgrown. Two times the joy when they discover something new in their world.

We have bonus milestones, as well. The first time they notice one another and the first time they smile at each other. The first time they interact and the first time they’ll make each other laugh. The language only they’ll understand. A relationship experienced deeper than any friendship or one with another sibling.

My hands are full.

It’s learning two babies at once. It’s learning which spot on their necks can make them laugh the hardest. It’s laughing so hard your cheeks hurt when their faces scrunch in disgust at the first bite of green beans. It’s singing If You’re Happy and You Know It and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes over and over again because you’ve learned you’ll get smiles every time. It’s learning that, though they’re born just a minute apart, they’re on completely different tracks developmentally and grow into completely different, unique, spectacular little humans.

My hands are full.

It’s the thing I’m told most often. And it’s certainly true.

As a parent of multiples, it’s very easy to feel over touched, overstimulated, overworked, overtired. But in a quick instant, it’s very, very easy to feel overjoyed, overcome with pride, overwhelmed with love and over the moon with happiness.

My mind is foggy. My arms are sore. My body is exhausted. My eyes are tired.

My hands are full. My heart is overflowing.

And that’s just how things are when you’re outnumbered.

Photography by @ haleyleannephotography

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